Ely Cathedral - Home
A View of Ely Cathedral
A View of Ely Cathedral

Restoration of Ely Cathedral

History & Heritage

In 1986 it was discovered that the roofs, timber and stonework of much of the Cathedral were becoming unsafe.

It was a crisis point for the Cathedral and a public appeal was launched. £4,000,000 was needed to secure the Cathedral's future and to prevent its doors being closed for good.

South Choir roof
South Choir roof

In just over a year, thanks to the generosity of the people of Cambridgeshire and beyond, the money was given or promised. The crisis was averted. But much remained to be done.

In 1991, Purcell Miller Tritton, Surveyors to the Fabric, compiled a comprehensive ten-year programme of restoration embracing stonework, timber, glass and lead at a cost of £8,000,000. Donations have been received from a wide range of benefactors and trusts, and over the last six years, the Cathedral has been grant aided by English Heritage. A guaranteed income of £500,000 is needed each year from voluntary contributions if the future of the Cathedral is to be secured.

Gargoyle
Gargoyle

The Great Restoration was completed in the year 2000 - a fitting start to the new Millennium.

In addition, the 21st Century Fund was launched in 1989. This is an Endowment Fund to finance fabric running repairs from the year 2000 onwards.

The Order of St Etheldreda was founded under Royal patronage in 1992 as a means of providing a regular source of funds to preserve the fabric and to share the life and work of the Cathedral so that future generations will be able to enjoy St Etheldreda's inspired creation for centuries to come.